WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2001 --
In a project aimed at supporting Russian health care reform efforts, the
International Finance Corporation is investing US$2.1 million to help establish
a high-quality medical center in St. Petersburg.
The $9 million project, led by the Finnish medical company Scanfert Oy,
will be a one-stop facility for most preventive, diagnostic, and treatment
services. The planned New Medical Center (NMC) will focus on many
different kinds of outpatient services and will include a small inpatient
unit, a 24-hour emergency room, and a comprehensive diagnostic department.
The investment will create a model for other Russian health care institutions
by introducing high-quality professional management and demonstrating long-term
commitment to patient satisfaction and evidence-based clinical practice,
said Mr. Karl Voltaire, IFC Director for health and education projects.
IFC and its partners will be tapping into a potentially large market
for high quality private facilities in Russia that would ease the public
burden and raise international investor awareness about the growing private
health care sector, he added.
Scanfert Oy, which operates medical facilities in Finland and Portugal,
under the brand name AVA-Clinic, already owns and operates a succesful
health care clinic in St. Petersburg using the same name. Another
Finnish company, Tohtoritalo Oy, will be both an investor and the main
technical partner for NMC.
Dr. Ralph Ashorn, Managing Director of Scanfert and Chairman of the Board
of NMC said the new facility would share medical expertise with St. Petersburg’s
health care community by offering specialized courses for medical and nursing
professionals from other private and public facilities in the St. Petersburg
The project – IFC’s first investment in the Russian health care sector
– is designed to promote the private sector role in the Russian health
care system and to contribute to the sustainable improvement of health
care performance by transferring the most current medical technology and
knowledge, improving access to and
the quality of services, and encouraging
investment in the emerging private health care sector in Russia.
NMC is also supported by an investment from RESO-Garantia, a well-known
Russian universal insurance company and a key player in the growing private
health insurance market in St. Petersburg.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in
the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial
markets and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and